While I am NOT ready to "go on", I was wondering
how many of you have thought about their fine collection
of tools and where they will end up after you're gone?
I have no children, nor do any of my nephews
seem to be interested in woodworking, so if
I should die before I can sell the shop (I hope
that will happen in about 25 years!) where will
I know this is really an odd topic, but the wife
and I have been going thru some estate planning
and I just don't have an idea on what to say
in my will. Should I just direct my executors to
sell them and donate the money to a worthy
cause? Or what?
What are you're thoughts on this? I'd be interested
to hear from those who are in the same boat -
no heirs to pass them do.
I'm sure you'll get a list of volunteers willing to take them off your
I really can't think of a creative solution, since most schools don't
seem to teach shop anymore. I guess you should direct them to be sold
with the estate with the rest of your stuff. You might want to add a
note in the will to make sure your heirs understand they have value..
If no one in your extended family is into woodworking, they might
assume that it's "junk" and toss it. A distant relative of mine passed
away and his immediate family tossed away his collection of wine,
assuming it was "junk".. I would've loved to have a few bottles of it.
They also tossed away a lot of his other stuff which could've been of
use or enjoyment to someone, even if it didn't fetch a lot of money.
I am a firm believer in giving to those who both deserve and appreciate the
item in question. Update your will constantly. And find somebody deserving
of these fine tools. There is more than one definition of family.
I agree with the way Lee is heading on this one. I'd be aiming at a
woodworking club, friends who are in the hobby, or a group that could
use what you have - either the whole lot or pieced out in smaller lots.
In future, you may come across someone you swap stories with, lean on
for help back and forth and even work with. That person may be someone
who could appreciate receiving what you have after you're gone. It would
just be a shame for the executors to bundle it all up as "workshop
items" and sell it all off for a hundred bucks.
I recently bought a used bandsaw and a bunch of other smaller tools
from the shop of a former pool-cue maker. He had passed away, and his
(grown) kids were in town to take care of the house, and since they
weren't interested in the tools, they were selling them very cheaply to
whoever would use them. The kids said he just would have wanted the
tools to be used and appreciated - they certainly are! A friend and I
both left with a good selection of tools, and although the bandsaw was
used most recently for a rocking chair and a quilt rack instead of pool
cues, I frequently think of its former owner I never had the chance to
meet. This seems to me to be a good deal for all, but at the time, his
kids didn't seem too excited about sorting through and selling a bunch
of stuff they didn't know much about. So maybe this idea could be
somehow combined with other responses - maybe a local woodworking club
could be in charge of auctioning, in return for a share of the profits
or the tools, with the rest going to your favorite charity or back to
Just some ideas...
I have thought I would leave my tools to the Guild I belong to. Since the
Guild's policy is to not own tools, I would expect them to auction tools to
the membership and to fill its coffers with the proceeds for the benefit of
I guess my response in part would depend on what kind of tools/shop it
is -- are we talking real heirloom-type and/or handmade (either by
yourself or somebody else) tools, high-end "store-bought" hand tools, a
shop full of commercial power tools, ...???
In the end, think about it some and figure out what would please you
and see if there's a way to accomplish that objective. Perhaps there's
a local vo-tech school that could use something or an instructor there
that might know of worthwhile students or such...
This topic is discussed from time to time. See the thread "Spousal Shop
Concerns" from Oct 06 over in rec.crafts.metalworking.
One of the reasons we get into woodworking other then the desire to create
is to leave a legacy. Most of us think about that in the fine table or box
that we have made with our own hands. Have you thought of the tools as
being part of your legacy? Picking up an old tool, origin often unknown, I
think of the hands that used it before me, and the careful and wonderful
work that was done with it. I say a prayer that my work is as well done as
the previous work done with the tool, and for the previous owner that cared
for the tool so that I too might enjoy it. Give or sell your basic tools to
a new woodworker who needs them and will care for them, give or sell your
special tools to an experienced woodworker who will appreciate them. Don't
worry about the value as much as that they go were they are wanted. Don't
however do it for at least 30 or 40 more years.
On Mon, 8 Jan 2007 17:13:02 -0600, "sweet sawdust"
Unless you upgrade, of course. I had a lot of offers on my midi
lathe, but I hung onto it for about a year until I found a guy that I
knew would use it before it left my shop. Same goes for all other
upgraded equipment- you can't keep everything, but you *can* make sure
it gets into the right hands when you let it go.
No matter what the other kids say, I'm your favorite...Right Dad?
I would start thinking about having your items appraised so you know what
you have invested. Then you and SWMBO can sit down and go over what to do.
That way she doesn't think that they are junk and just toss them. You might
want to think about parting with some of the tools that are collector worthy
or would still fetch a good price. We went through a simular situation when
my grandfather fell ill for a long time. No one in the family knew how much
any of his farm and shop equipment was worth. When he recovered, his first
priority was to sell off all that was valuable. The rest he hung on to "in
case" he needed it. Now that he is up there in years, I have been helping
him with sorting the rest out.
A place you could leave them that would result in their falling into the
hands of people who would both appreciate them and use them in woodworking
would be one of the wooden boat building schools. The Northwest School of
Boatbuilding in Port Townsend, Washington is in my home town, and turns out
both yound and older boat builders year after year. There are others, as
well, and apprentice programs on the East Coast - one's called the
I'm thinking that I'll leave my own collection either to a young local
boatbuilder or furniture maker who's starting out his career, or else the
On 8 Jan 2007 13:16:44 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
My Dad volunteers at a local aviation museum where they are currently
restoring a couple of old Stearman airplanes. Walking through their
shop the other day I thought they could use a higher grade of
woodworking equipment. If you don't intend to sell the stuff a
similar place or a woodworking club might put your tools to good use.
As far as relatives go, I'm in the same position you are except that I don't
have the same problem. I've named my best friend as executor of my estate as
well as beneficiary. He has *some* interest in woodworking although not as
much as I do. I've told him that he can keep what he wants and sell or give
away the rest just as long as none of it is given to any long lost relatives
who might suddenly show up in an attempt to claim something.
Whatever you own when you die is used first to pay off any unpaid debts.
Unless you leave a will, anything after that belongs to your legal
heirs. Your friend could be liable for theft if he "keeps what he
wants." So, if that's the way you want your tools dealt with, put it in
I won't have any debts, other than assorted burial costs and I've given
instructions for an immediate cremation and no church or funeral parlour
service of any type. $500 is set aside for my friends and anyone who
considers me to be their enemy to spend on liquor costs at some bar. And as
far as a will goes, making someone my beneficiary *is* legally willing all
my belongings to him. Same meaning, just different terms.
Perhaps the local office of the Boy Scouts of America would be a good
way to "pass the tools on". But at the Scout office level so that all
of the area dens of Cub Scouts AND Boy Scouts could benefit.
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